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Travelling with a nanny is a game-changer

Everyone deserves a holiday, but it's difficult to find down time as a parent caring for a child with a disability. Carly Puckeridge decided to try something new on a family trip to Bali.

Carly Puckeridge’s family was really looking forward to a Bali holiday. Prior to COVID, they’d visited Bali together many times, attracted to the relaxed atmosphere and friendly laid-back Balinese people. So, once Australian borders opened up to international travel, they couldn’t wait to return.

Their travel group included a one-year-old daughter, a four-year-old son, and a six-year-old son who is non-verbal and autistic. A family member suggested hiring a Balinese nanny to help with the children. Carly was initially hesitant, but started searching for more information.

She stumbled across the blog Rolling Along With Kids in Bali, and read an article by a mother who had hired a nanny for her autistic son. The article included recommendations for nannies, so Carly decided to contact one of them. After explaining her family’s needs, she was connected to Kadek.

Carly’s initial concerns were mostly centred around whether a nanny would have experience caring for a child with a disability, especially one who is non-verbal. She wondered if someone unfamiliar with her son’s needs would be able to pick up on his non-verbal cues, and feared that it might create a barrier to building a rapport.

But chatting with Kadek from Australia via WhatsApp gave Carly a good feeling. Within an hour of meeting Kadek in Bali, Carly realised any fears she had about hiring a nanny were unfounded.

Nanny Kadek with three Puckeridge children, wet from swimming, sitting together on a Bali beach
Balinese nanny Kadek formed a special bond with Carly’s children. Credit: Carly Puckeridge

Kadek had a kind and nurturing manner, which meant all of Carly’s children adored her and they developed beautiful friendships. Knowing that Kadek was there to look after the children allowed Carly and her husband, Luke, to relax and make the most of their holiday.

“I even managed to duck out to get a massage, and to take the odd afternoon nap,” Carly says. “It was bliss. We felt like we could actually relax.”

An evening out as a couple was also a treat, with the restaurant nearby. Kadek was able to contact Carly at any time if needed via WhatsApp.

Kadek joined the family on day trips, helping the children at the beach and in the swimming pool, and sharing the day-to-day responsibilities like making meals and changing nappies. She was on hand to play games and help at bath time.

“[We were] always around to help with caring, but it was a relief to know that we could share the responsibilities with Kadek,” Carly says. “It made us feel like we had a break, too.”

Kadek was negotiable on the hours she worked. The family hired her for at least five hours on most days, at a rate of around $10 per hour (for a minimum of three to five hours a day). When Kadek travelled on day trips with the family, they provided a meal and a drink, plus a tip at the end of the day to show their appreciation for her support.

Carly’s tips for hiring a Balinese nanny

Try to get a feel for your nanny before you meet them in Bali. Connect via text or WhatsApp ahead of time, give the nanny a brief on your family’s needs, and find out if they have any experience with children with a disability. These exchanges should give you a sense of the person before meeting them.

If you’re interested in hiring Kadek for your next family holiday to Bali, you can contact her via Facebook.

This article first appeared in Travel Without Limits. You can subscribe to the magazine here.

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